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Energy Storage Technology Marketing Summaries

Here you’ll find marketing summaries of energy storage technologies available for licensing from U.S. Department of Energy laboratories and participating research institutions. The summaries provide descriptions of the technologies including their benefits, applications and industries, and development stage.

137 Technology Marketing Summaries
CategoryTitle and AbstractLaboratoriesDate
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Alternating Current Photovoltaic Building Block

This technology provides a fully integrated and self-containing alternating current (AC) photovoltaic (PV) Building Block device and method that allows photovoltaic applications to become trueplug-and-play devices.

11/01/2016
New!
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TOPHAT™ for the Alignment & Focus of Heliostat Mirror Facets

The Theoretical Overlay Photographic Heliostat Alignment Technique (TOPHAT) is a unique method which helps to accurately and effectively concentrate solar energy onto a receiver. By utilizing a camera/target fixture placed in front of the heliostat TOPHAT aligns and focuses the mirrors on a heliostat. It uses the photographs taken by cameras on the fixture and comparing the location and size of the target patterns with their predicted theoretical images. Adjustments are made to the facets... read more

10/31/2016
Updated!
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Batch and Continuous Methods for Evaluating the Physical and Thermal Properties of Films

Thin films and membranes are used in a number of commercial applications, including energy products (e.g. photovoltaics, batteries, and fuel cells) and separation processes (e.g. pervaporation, reverse osmosis, dialysis, etc.). According to the 2016 BCC report titled “Global Markets, Technologies and Materials for Thin and Ultrathin Films”, the market for thin films is expected to rise from the 2015 global demand of US $9.8 billion at an annual rate of 3%. In order to meet this... read more

09/12/2016
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Direct Thermal Receivers Using Near Blackbody Configurations

 

Current oil and salt based heat transfer fluids have significant limitations such as usable temperature, high cost, and limited thermal conversion efficiency. To achieve the Department of Energy SunShot goal of high efficiency, low cost renewable power generation, a highly efficient and economical way to absorb solar heat and to store the thermal energy is important for broad deployment of concentrating solar power (CSP) plants as baseload power.

 

04/29/2016
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Clean Anodic Lithium Films for Longer Life, Rechargeable Lithium Ion Batteries

Researchers led by Berkeley Lab’s Nitash Balsara have developed an electrolytic refining technology by which polymer electrolytes are used to prepare clean anodic lithium films for use in safe, stable lithium ion batteries with high energy densities and good cycle life.

04/25/2016
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Sandia's Automated Transfer Function Generator

When designing or analyzing electrical systems, it is important to understand the relationship between input and output. Power conversion occurs in a “black box” and transfer functions can be used to provide a better understanding of the processes occurring in this “black box”. Although they provide a useful analysis tool, transfer functions are not often utilized because they require complicated, time-consuming derivation that ignores nonlinear behavior common in... read more

04/19/2016
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Synthesis of Nanocrystalline Iron Nitrides Using Two-Step Reactive Milling Process

Nanocrystalline iron nitride is an important soft magnetic material; however, conventional methods of production don’t exist. Synthesis of dense nanocrystalline iron nitrides is not possible by simply annealing elemental iron in NH3 at temperatures in excess of 600° C since γ’-Fe4N and other iron nitrides are unstable above 600°C and will decompose. Sandia researchers have discovered that by using a two-step reactive milling process and high pressure spark plasma... read more

04/12/2016
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Device and Software to Measure Thermal Impedance of Electrochemical Systems

 

Different components within an electrochemical system (e.g., a battery) can generate heat due to inefficiencies in transport of the charges or exothermal reactions at different rates. For example, the joule heating of the connectors happens at a much shorter time period compared to the heat generated due to some of the reactions. By introducing current or voltage signals as input at the appropriate frequency and by carefully measuring the heat generated from the system (e.g.,... read more

03/22/2016
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Flexible Thin Film Solid State Lithium Ion Batteries

 

Batteries are electrochemical cells which store and supply electrical energy as a product of a chemical reaction. In their simplest conceptualization, batteries have two electrodes, one that supplies electrons by virtue of an oxidation process occurring at that electrode and a second one that consumes electrons by virtue of a reduction process occurring at that electrode. Thin film ion batteries, including those of the thin film solid state lithium ion type, can be prepared from... read more

03/07/2016
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Single Step Electrode Infiltration Process

Research is active on the patent pending technology titled, “Method of Forming Catalyst Layer by Single Step Infiltration.” This invention is available for licensing and/or further collaborative research from the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory.

02/25/2016
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Rapid Gas Hydrate Formation Process

The Department of Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) is seeking collaborative research and licensing partners interested in implementing United States Non-provisional Patent Application entitled “Rapid Gas Hydrate Formation Process.” Disclosed in this application is a method and device for producing gas hydrates from a two-phase mixture of water and a hydrate forming gas such as methane (CH4) or carbon dioxide (CO2). The two-phase mixture is created in a... read more

02/23/2016
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Improved Concentrating Solar Power Systems

 

Concentrating Solar Power (CSP) systems utilize solar energy to drive a thermal power cycle for the generation of electricity. CSP technologies include parabolic trough, linear Fresnel, central receiver or “power tower”, and dish/engine systems. Considerable interest in CSP has been driven by renewable energy portfolio standards applicable to energy providers in the southwestern United States and renewable energy feed-in tariffs in Spain. CSP systems are typically... read more

02/17/2016
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Overcharge Protection Prevents Exploding Lithium Ion Batteries

Berkeley Lab scientists Guoying Chen and Thomas J. Richardson have invented a new type of separator membrane that prevents dangerous overcharge and overdischarge conditions in rechargeable lithium-ion batteries, i.e., exploding lithium ion batteries. This low cost separator, with electroactive polymers incorporated into a porous fiber membrane, provides electronic insulation and high ionic conduction during normal cell operation, enabling high charge and discharge rates for high... read more

01/26/2016
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Wind Turbine Tower for Storing Hydrogen and Energy

Around the world, there is an increasing demand for satisfying energy requirements in ways that use less or no fossil fuels. These alternatives need to be reliable, cost effective, and environmentally sound to be adopted on a large scale. For example, as the need to stabilize energy resources increases, many nations and electric utilities are evaluating the increased use of wind as a portion of their power generation mix. Additionally, the use of hydrogen as a “clean” fuel to... read more

01/15/2016
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Hybrid Radical Energy Storage Device

In order to provide a cost effective, environmentally benign and efficient means for storing electric energy from renewable sources, breakthroughs are needed in rechargeable battery technology that will substantially increase energy and power densities. Practical deployment of the batteries for transportation also requires them to be of low cost and safe. Organic radical batteries (ORBs) are a relatively new class of rechargeable batteries that are based on the utilization of stable organic... read more

01/13/2016
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Using SiO Anodes for High Capacity, High Rate Electrodes for Lithium Ion Batteries

Berkeley Lab developed an elegant and inexpensive fabrication method for high performance electrodes with unmatched specific / areal capacities and good capacity retention for application in lithium ion batteries.

01/13/2016
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Nano-Composite Materials

 

Alternative fuel vehicles typically require large energy stores (e.g., for acceleration), resulting in the ongoing development of capacitor and supercapacitor technologies. These technologies have a broad range of applications including portable electronic devices such as cell phones, lap top computers and personal digital assistants and are not limited to use in automobiles.

Electrochromic coatings are also being developed in an effort to promote energy savings. Applications... read more

12/17/2015
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A Two-Dimensional Thermal-Electrochemical Model for Prismatic Lithium Ion Cells

 

Existing battery management algorithms rely upon empirical correlations between the cell voltage and the load profile. This approach limits the predictive ability of the battery management system to forecast remaining useful life of a battery in a vehicle, or the range available at any given instant when the vehicle is in operation. 

 

12/11/2015
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Internal Short Circuit Device for Improved Lithium-Ion Battery Design

Energy storage cells (also referred to herein as "cells" or "batteries") sold for consumer use in portable electronic devices and other applications have occasional failure in the field. These cells have typically passed a wide variety of safety tests, such as those required by governmental shipping regulations and by other certification organizations, but fail after the cells have been in use over time (e.g., several months), even though there have been no other reported... read more

11/23/2015
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New Electrode Materials for Magnesium Batteries and Metal Anodes

 

Magnesium ion batteries present a viable alternative to lithium ion batteries and are drawing the attention of major electric vehicle and battery manufacturers. This is due in part to each lithium ion carrying a single positive charge, while each magnesium ion has a plus-two (divalent) charge, allowing the magnesium ion battery to move twice as many electrons. Magnesium is also much cheaper and easier to acquire than lithium. Other benefits of using magnesium instead of lithium... read more

11/20/2015
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Lithium-Ion Battery with Higher Charge Capacity

Zirconate Based Cathode Material

Lithium-ion batteries (LIBs) typically use a cobalt compound as the cathode material. Cobalt oxides are relatively expensive and scarce. An innovative zirconate-based cathode material developed at the University of Minnesota has the potential to have significantly higher charge capacity than cobalt based cathodes. Lithium zirconate (Li8ZrO6) is generally far less expensive than cobalt compounds.

06/19/2015
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Membranes Optimized for High Conductivity and Low Crossover of Redox Flow Cells 2015-033

Researchers at Berkeley Lab have determined that membrane properties have a significant impact on the performance and efficiency of the bromine-hydrogen (Br2-H2) redox flow cell, a device that shows promise for high power, low cost energy storage. Specifically, the researchers identified a tradeoff between conductivity and crossover, where conductivity limits system efficiency at high current density and crossover limits efficiency at low current density.

05/19/2015
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High-Frequency Matrix Converter with Square Wave Input

As the use of renewable energy sources increase, there is an increasing need for power converters capable of efficiently converting a diverse input of energy sources to a form suitable for insertion into modern electrical grid systems.  Current renewable energy conversion systems are bulky, inefficient, and generally incapable of efficiently accepting multiple inputs from a diverse pool of energy sources, such as produced by modern, renewable photovoltaic, geothermal and wind energy... read more

04/01/2015
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Anodes Improve Safety and Performance in Lithium-ion Batteries

Rechargeable lithium-ion batteries have become the battery of choice for everything from cell phones to electric cars, but there is still much room for improvement. Scientists at Argonne National Laboratory are leading efforts to revolutionize battery technology with the design and development of new battery materials for electrolytes, electrodes, and interfaces that will increase the specific energy of advanced batteries, while simultaneously providing enhanced stability at a lower cost. To... read more

03/30/2015
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Method and Apparatus for In-Situ Real Time Characterization of Energy Storage and Energy Conversion Devices

Impedance Measurement Box (IMB) provides valuable, real time data about battery state of health.

03/23/2015
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High Performance Silicon Monoxide (SiO) Electrode for Next Generation Lithium Ion Batteries

Berkeley Lab’s High Performance Silicon Monoxide Electrode has a capacity retention of more than 90% after ~500 cycles, which translates into a ~20% improvement over the limited energy density of conventional graphite anode-based lithium-ion batteries, enabling next-generation mobile electronics and electric/plug-in vehicles.

02/27/2015
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Electrically Integrated Graphene on Silicon Nitride Liquid Flow Cells for High Resolution TEM

A Berkeley Lab research team led by Paul Alivisatos and Alex Zettl has developed liquid flow cells providing unprecedented resolution and contrast in continuous flow Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM). The cells can be used in sustained liquid flow and electric contact, facilitating the study and understanding of electrochemical processes at an atomic scale with diminished damage and alteration to samples. The fabrication method of the reusable cells guarantees little to no assembly on... read more

02/25/2015
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Advanced Electrolyte Model
Idaho National Laboratory researcher Dr. Kevin Gering has developed the Advanced Electrolyte Model (AEM), which is a copyrighted, molecular-based, scientifically proven simulation tool. AEM revolutionizes electrolyte selection, optimizing material combinations and key design elements to make battery design and experimentation quick, accurate and responsive to specific needs. AEM predicts and catalogs electrolyte metrics, evaluating and comparing more than 35 parameters to recommend optimal... read more
11/21/2014
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Longer Life Lithium Ion Batteries with Silicon Anodes

Researchers have developed a new technology to advance the life of lithium-ion batteries. A catechol-based polymer binder, developed at Berkeley Lab, interacting with the oxide layer on the surface of commercial silicon (Si), generates powerful adhesion strength and maintains electrode integrity during the drastic volume changes experienced in lithiation and delithiation. The result is a better binding property and longer electrode life in lithium-ion batteries.

08/04/2014
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Dual Layer Solid State Thin Film Deposition

Lithium-ion batteries are a preferred battery technology due to its high energy density and lightweight features. The electrode in this technology can consist of lithium metal or lithiated material which can suffer degradation when exposed to oxygen. NREL scientists have invented a way to better-protect the lithium electrode from oxidation without compromising the other features of this technology. This invention applies to a broad category of thin-film electronic devices, including... read more

07/28/2014
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Hollow Nanoreactors

Paul Alivisatos and colleagues at Berkeley Lab have developed a new one-pot method for creating hollow nanocrystals.  The geometrically novel particles can be used for highly controlled catalysis and drug delivery, as well as optics, energy storage, and other nanoelectronic and advanced materials applications.  Using this scalable and inexpensive chemical process, the inventors have also succeeded in generating nanoreactors ­– hollow nanocrystals with a catalyst fixed... read more

06/06/2014
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Nonflammable, Controlled Delivery of Performance-improving SLMP® Particles to Lithium Ion Battery Electrodes

Berkeley Lab researchers led by Gao Liu have developed a lithium ion battery fabrication technology that will deliver stabilized lithium metal powder (SLMP®) to the surface of electrodes without using highly volatile and flammable solvents.

05/28/2014
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Systems, Methods and Computer Readable Media for Modeling Cell Performance Fade, Kinetic Performance, Capacity Loss, of Rechargeable Electrochemical Devices

 INL has developed a set of methods to define measure, evaluate, track and predict performance and aging trends for advanced chemistry batteries, including lithium-ion batteries.  

04/16/2014
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Early Stage R&DPLZT Nano-Precursors for High Energy Density Applications

To improve the manufacturing and performance of ceramic materials Sandia National Laboratories has developed a method for synthesizing lanthanum-doped lead zirconate titanate (PLZT) nanoparticle precursors.

04/04/2014
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Membrane-Electrode Structures for Low Cost Molecular Catalysts in Fuel Cells and Other Electrochemical Devices

A team of Berkeley Lab researchers has developed a technology to coat electrode surfaces with a homogeneous catalyst that has been immobilized within a polymer layer. The team demonstrated that a 3-D distributed array of nonplatinum catalysts can function well within the electrode layer of a membrane-electrode assembly (MEA) and showed that the method is practical for mounting homogeneous catalysts in scaled-up devices. By providing multiple layers of catalyst in a 3-D array, higher reaction... read more

03/04/2014
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Novel Electrolyte Enables Stable Graphite Anodes in Lithium Ion Batteries

Berkeley Lab researchers led by Gao Liu have developed an improved lithium ion battery electrolyte containing a solvent that remains liquid at typical operating temperatures but, unlike similar additives, will not degrade graphite anodes.

01/11/2014
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Virus-based Piezoelectric Energy Generation

Researchers at Berkeley Lab have demonstrated that the piezoelectric and liquid-crystalline properties of a modified virus, such as a recombinant M13 bacteriophage (phage), can be used to generate electrical energy. Using piezoresponse force microscopy, they characterized the structure-dependent piezoelectric properties of the phage at the molecular level and then showed that self-assembled thin films of phage can exhibit piezoelectric strengths of up to 7.8 pm V−1. They also... read more

12/18/2013
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Simplified Electrode Formation using Stabilized Lithium Metal Powder (SLMP®) Doping of Lithium Ion Battery Electrodes

A team of Berkeley Lab researchers led by Gao Liu has developed a doping process for lithium ion battery electrode formation that can boost a cell’s charge capacity and lower its cost while improving reliability and safety.

12/03/2013
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Lithium / Sulfur Cells with Long Cycle Life and High Specific Energy

A team of Berkeley Lab battery researchers led by Elton Cairns has invented an advanced lithium/sulfur (Li/S) cell that, for the first time, offers both long cycle life and a high discharge rate in addition to the inherently low cost and light weight of Li/S batteries.

11/16/2013
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Hydrogen Electrochemical Energy Storage Device

The hydrogen fuel cell market is still in the early stages of development.  However, with advances in technology the market and associated fuel cell applications is starting to gain traction. Recently, major vehicle manufacturers have announced production-level hydrogen vehicles as soon as 2015 and the fuel cell market is expected to grow from an estimated $775 million in 2012 to over $14.1 billion by 2022. 

One of the most attractive aspects of hydrogen is that it has a very... read more

10/16/2013
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Modular Electromechanical Batteries for Storage of Electrical Energy for Land-Based Electric Vehicles

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), operated by Lawrence Livermore National Security (LLNS) under contract with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), is offering the opportunity for partnership and licensing of a new technology for the storage of electrical energy in modular “electromechanical batteries” (EMB) designed for land-based vehicular applications. The technology embodies several novel concepts for storing electrical energy as rotational energy. The new design... read more

10/11/2013
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Surface-Modified Active Materials for Lithium Ion Battery Electrodes

Berkeley Lab researcher Gao Liu has developed a new fabrication technique for lithium ion battery electrodes that lowers binder cost without sacrificing performance and reliability.

09/26/2013
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Low Temperature Sodium-Sulfur Grid Storage and EV Battery

Berkeley Lab researcher Gao Liu has developed an innovative design for a battery, made primarily of sodium and sulfur, that holds promise for both large-scale grid storage systems and for consumer products such as residential photovoltaic systems. The cathode is made of sulfur and a conductive polymer, while the solid electrolyte — based on cross-linked polyethylene oxide — forms a stable but ion-conducting barrier separating the liquid sodium anode.

09/26/2013
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Smartgrid EV Communication module (SpEC) SAE DC Charging Digital Communication Controller

One of the major drawbacks of electric vehicles (EVs) is the long period of time required to recharge EV batteries. While regular Alternating Current (AC) charging systems are sufficient for overnight charging of these vehicles at home or at the office, they aren’t practical for quick recharging in public areas. A rapid means for recharging EVs is needed in order to make electric vehicles a practical alternative to traditional internal combustion engine-powered vehicles.

In... read more

09/05/2013
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50 kW Power Block for Distributed Energy Applications

 

Distributed energy (DE) systems have begun to make a significant impact on energy supply and will certainly affect energy needs in the future. These systems include, but are not limited to, photovoltaics (PV), wind turbines, micro-turbines, fuel cells, and internal combustion (IC) engines.  Beyond these generation systems, energy storage and electric vehicles are expected to have an increasing impact. The PV-inverter market alone totaled $7.2 billion in 2011 and is expected... read more

08/05/2013
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Redox Shuttle Additives

As the demand for hybrid and electric vehicles continues to grow, so does the demand for lithium-ion batteries that are safer, more powerful, and less expensive. These Argonne additives will help meet that demand.

07/16/2013
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Intermetallic Electrodes Improve Safety and Performance in Lithium-ion Batteries

Rechargeable lithium-ion batteries have become the battery of choice for everything from cell phones to electric cars, but there is still much room for improvement. Scientists at Argonne National Laboratory are leading efforts to revolutionize battery technology with the design and development of new battery materials for electrolytes, electrodes, and interfaces that will increase the specific energy of advanced batteries, while simultaneously providing enhanced stability at a lower cost. To... read more

07/16/2013
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Synthesizing High-Quality Calcium Boride at Nanoscale

With numerous attractive properties, calcium hexaboride offers great promise for many industrial uses, particularly in PEM fuel cells for electric cars. While previous commercial attempts to synthesize the compound have been unsuccessful, scientists at Argonne National Laboratory and Southern Illinois University (SIU) have devised innovative methods for synthesizing high-quality calcium boride nanoparticles.

07/16/2013
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Copper-tin Electrodes Improve Capacity and Cycle Life for Lithium Batteries

Rechargeable lithium-ion batteries have become the battery of choice for everything from cell phones to electric cars, but there is still much room for improvement. Scientists at Argonne National Laboratory are leading efforts to revolutionize battery technology with the design and development of new battery materials for electrolytes, electrodes, and interfaces that will increase the specific energy of advanced batteries, while simultaneously providing enhanced stability at a lower cost. To... read more

07/01/2013
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Innovative lithium-titanium-oxide anodes improve battery safety and performance (IN-98-069)

Rechargeable lithium-ion batteries have become the battery of choice for everything from cell phones to electric cars, but there is still much room for improvement. Scientists at Argonne National Laboratory are leading efforts to revolutionize battery technology with the design and development of new battery materials for electrolytes, electrodes, and interfaces that will increase the specific energy of advanced batteries, while simultaneously providing enhanced stability at a lower cost. To... read more

06/13/2013
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Increasing Solar Efficiency through Luminescent Solar Concentrators

For years, scientists have sought to harness energy from the sun, using lenses and mirrors to focus and track sunlight, or photovoltaic cells to absorb and convert sunlight to electricity. Their goal is for solar energy to reach “grid parity”—that is, for its cost to become comparable to that of more traditional sources of energy like coal, oil, natural gas and nuclear power. Thus far, however, converting sunlight into electric power has proved to be prohibitively expensive.

... read more
05/29/2013
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Sulfur-Graphene Oxide Nanocomposite Cathodes for Lithium/Sulfur Cells

A Berkeley Lab team headed by Yuegang Zhang and Elton Cairns has developed a method to fabricate battery cathodes from nanoscale flakes of graphene oxide and sulfur. This innovation solves at once two design problems that have impeded efforts to make commercially viable lithium-sulfur (Li-S) batteries: 1) sulfur is a natural insulator, and designers must find ways to overcome its resistance; 2) Li-S batteries are notoriously short-lived because sulfur that dissolves in the electrolyte can... read more

04/30/2013
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Organic Flash Cycles for Intermediate and High Temperature Waste Reclamation

Researchers at Berkeley Lab have developed a highly efficient technology for the reclamation of waste heat in mechanical heat engines widely used in solar-thermal, geothermal, and industrial processes. This new approach yields gains in efficiencies for both high temperature and intermediate temperature thermal sources, marking a significant advance over strategies that focus predominately on high temperature efficiency solutions.

04/30/2013
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Hydrogen-Evolving Organic Compounds
A system, that includes a catalyst and organic compound, for storing and releasing hydrogen at or near ambient temperature.
04/04/2013
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Molten Salt Heat Transfer Fluid (HTF)

Sandia has developed a heat transfer fluid (HTF) for use at elevated temperatures that has a lower freezing point than any molten salt mixture available commercially. This allows the HTF to be used in applications in which the expensive parasitic energy costs necessary for freeze protection can be significantly reduced. The higher operating temperature limit significantly increases power cycle efficiency and overall power plan sun-to-net electric efficiency.

03/12/2013
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Electrical Cable Testing by Pulse-Arrested Spark Discharge (PASD)
Sandia has developed an advanced electrical wiring diagnostic system capable of detecting insulation defects in complex wiring systems. The portable diagnostic system detects and accurately locates hard to find insulation defects as breached insulation, chaffing, and insulation cracks. PASD could greatly reduce the time required to track down wiring defects, as it can typically locate these defects within inches.
03/12/2013
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Energy Surety Microgrid™
The Energy Surety Microgrid™ (ESM) is a Risk Assessment Methodology (RAM) which is a vulnerability assessment for the critical power delivery functions and needs of a community. The microgrid serves as a predecessor to the larger-scale smart grid making it more specific to serve hospitals, military bases, residential communities, emergency response, etc. in utilizing renewable energy sources when traditional sources fail or are inadequate.
03/12/2013
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“Smart” Frequency-Sensing Charge Controller for Electric Vehicles

As plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) and battery electric vehicles (BEVs) become more popular, they create additional demand for electricity. Their emergence also raises a host of issues regarding how, where and when car batteries should be charged—and the resulting load on the power grid.

Electric utilities strive to avoid large fluctuations in the power supply and to keep the system’s frequency stable at 60 Hz. In this way, they maintain balance in supply and demand... read more

02/28/2013
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Autogenic pressure reactors provide simple, rapid means of producing battery materials

Rechargeable lithium-ion batteries have become the battery of choice for everything from cell phones to electric cars, but there is still much room for improvement. Scientists at Argonne National Laboratory are leading efforts to revolutionize battery technology with the design and development of new battery materials for electrolytes, electrodes, and interfaces that will increase the specific energy of advanced batteries, while simultaneously providing enhanced stability at a lower cost. To... read more

02/28/2013
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Frequency Stabilization in Non-linear MEMS and NEMS Oscillators (IN-11-087)

Mechanical oscillators are an important component in electronic devices and they represent a multi-billion dollar industry. As electronics become increasingly miniaturized, oscillators must become smaller as well and this makes them more sensitive to environmental variations. Scientists at Argonne National Laboratory have devised a method to solve this problem that allows creating micro and nano mechanical oscillators with excellent frequency stability.

02/25/2013
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Cathode Coating (IN-09-061)

A team of scientists at Argonne National Laboratory has developed a special coating for the cathodes used in lithium batteries. With the coating, batteries charge and discharge more quickly, without a loss in performance.

02/25/2013
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Lithium Iron Phosphate Composites for Lithium Batteries (IN-11-024)

Argonne National Laboratory has developed a series of inexpensive, electrochemically active phosphate compounds that are highly functional when used in high-power and high-energy lithium batteries.

02/25/2013
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Nanosegregated Surfaces as Catalysts for Fuel Cells (IN-07-054)

Fuel cells are an important component in the energy industry, but the high cost of producing the platinum catalyst—an essential part of a fuel cell—has historically kept fuel cells from being commercially viable. Scientists at Argonne National Laboratory have devised a process for creating a “nanosegregated” platinum alloy catalyst with significantly enhanced properties, making it cost-effective and highly attractive for use in fuel cells.

02/11/2013
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Nanotube Arrays for Advanced Lithium-ion Batteries

The development of high-power, high-energy, long-life, and low-cost rechargeable batteries is critical for the next-generation electric and hybrid electric vehicles. Among various battery technologies, lithium-ion batteries (LIBs) are promising energy storage devices as a result of the high energy densities, low self-discharges, and long cycle lives of known LIBs. Market analysis projects that the LIB market will increase to over $77 billion within the energy storage, electric vehicles, and... read more

01/31/2013
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Nanofilm Coatings Improve Battery Performance

Recent advances in battery technology are expected to more than double consumer demand for electric vehicles within the next five years. The lithium-ion battery is an attractive candidate for use in such vehicles because of its light weight and high energy density. At present, however, lithium-ion batteries are not performing at the level desired. Lithium-ion batteries require even higher energy/power densities, longer lifetimes, and improved safety.

Some existing obstacles include the... read more

01/29/2013
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Negative Electrodes Improve Safety in Lithium Cells and Batteries

To help improve the stability and safety of lithium-ion batteries, Argonne researchers have developed a new intermetallic structure type that can be used for the battery’s negative electrode. Rechargeable lithium-ion batteries have become the battery of choice for everything from cell phones to electric cars, but there is still much room for improvement. Scientists at Argonne National Laboratory are leading efforts to revolutionize battery technology with the design and development of... read more

01/18/2013
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Synthesis of Ionic Liquids

Chemical separation, such as processes producing alkanes from olefins, often requires series of distillation steps that are highly energy intensive.


 

09/22/2012
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Early Stage R&DSuperhydrophobic Coating for Evaporative Purification and Minerals Extraction
Researchers at ORNL are using their superhydrophobic coating technology to tackle the age-old problem of obtaining potable water. In the process, they have
also developed a cost-effective method to extract industrial minerals and metals such as potassium, lithium, and magnesium from the seas and other waters.
Potable water is becoming an increasingly scarce resource. Evaporative desalination is one of the cheapest, easiest, simplest ways to covert salt or brackish
water into fresh water.... read more
08/21/2012
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Pulsed Ionization Source for Ion Mobility Spectrometers
ORNL’s new wave of detection devices based on ion mobility spectrometry offer enhanced sensitivity and resolution and increased safety and flexibility. Leading
the way is a miniature ion mobility spectrometer (IMS) that uses a pulsed corona ionization source. This detector has demonstrated both high sensitivity and high resolution without the drawbacks of other systems.

Ion mobility spectrometry is an important method for detecting drugs, explosives, volatile organic compounds, and chemical... read more
08/21/2012
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Synthesis Method for Stable Colloids of "Naked" Metal Nanocrystals
Researchers at ORNL have developed a unique membrane-assisted thermal electrochemical synthesis (TECS) process for making colloidally stable aqueous solutions of small (<10 nm) metallic nanocrystals that are "clean," stable, and uniform in size. The nanocrystals produced by the TECS process represent a unique class of colloids that could be used in a variety of applications, including coatings, catalysts, and sensor devices.

Metallic nanocrystals have generated considerable interest because... read more
07/11/2012
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Organic-Inorganic Complexes Containing a Luminescent Rare Earth-Metal Nanocluster and an Antenna Ligand, Luminescent Articles, and Methods of Making Luminescent Articles
Battelle has developed a material capable of spectral conversion, that is, absorbing light across a broad range of wavelengths and re-emitting this light in a narrow wavelength range. These materials can then be integrated into devices to convert solar radiation into energy. In one implementation, this material can be applied to a solar cell to enhance the absorption efficiency of the solar cell. In a second implementation, this material can be placed between two panes of glass, and used to... read more
06/11/2012
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Supercapacitor Materials and Devices: Nickel-Cobalt Supercapacitors and Methods of Making Same

Battelle has developed materials that can be used to create a supercapacitor with performance superior to that of commercially available devices.  The common measures of performance are the energy density (energy per kg) and power density (power per kg).  This technology is based on specific metal oxide compositions synthesized in conjunction with carbon nanotubes or activated carbon.  The performance of the supercapacitor can be tuned by altering the specific metal oxide... read more

06/11/2012
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Lithium Salt-doped, Gelled Polymer Electrolyte with a Nanoporous, Bicontinuous Cubic Architecture and High Room-temparature Ion Conductivity
Li ion batteries have high energy density, high power delivery, and the ability to be recharged over a large number of cycles. One component that needs to be improved to make them suitable for high performance applications is the electrolyte material . High Li ion mobility/conductivity in electrolyte material is required for larger energy applications, and efficient discharge and recharge with a minimum of power loss to resistive heating. However, these electrolytes can leak from the battery,... read more
06/01/2012
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Solid-state Inorganic Lithium-Ion Conductors
A research team at the University of Colorado Boulder led by Se-Hee Lee has developed an advanced single step, high energy ball milling system for preparation of electrodes for use in a solid state lithium-ion battery.
05/23/2012
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Fail-Safe Design for Large Capacity Li-Ion Battery Systems

Lithium-ion batteries (LIBs) are a promising candidate for energy storage of electric drive vehicles due to their high power and energy density. The total electric vehicle LIB market shipped 2,400 units in 2008 generating over $28 million in revenue and is predicted to be greater than $10 billion by 2015. However, violent incidents reported for LIBs and consequent safety concerns pose a major obstacle to LIB market acceptance. Safety mitigation technologies used in small capacity consumer... read more

04/25/2012
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Low-temperature Sodium-Beta Battery

Rechargeable metallic sodium batteries have application in large-scale energy storage applications such as electric power generation and distribution, in motive applications such as electric vehicles, hybrids, and plug-in hybrids, and for aerospace applications such as powering satellites. So far, two sodium-based battery technologies have shown particular commercial promise: sodium-sulfur and sodium-nickel chloride, both referred to as sodium-beta batteries.   Sodium-β battery... read more

04/04/2012
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Polyanionic Polymers with High Alkali-Ion Conductivity and Wide Electrochemical Windows
As mobile electronics continue to evolve, the need for high-output, long-lasting rechargeable batteries has grown tremendously. In the search for suitable materials from which to construct high energy density solid state batteries, one of the principal obstacles has been the provision of a suitable electrolyte that exhibits the right combination of conductivity and ion mobility, consistency, wide electrochemical window, and good adherence to electrode surfaces. Very few electrolytes have been... read more
03/13/2012
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Environmentally Benign Electrolytes With Wide Electrochemical Windows
As mobile electronics continue to evolve, the need for safe, long-lasting rechargeable batteries has grown tremendously. In the search for suitable materials from which to construct high energy density solid state batteries, one of the principal obstacles has been the provision of a suitable electrolyte that exhibits the right combination of conductivity and ion mobility, consistency, wide electrochemical window, and good adherence to electrode surfaces. Very few electrolytes have been... read more
03/13/2012
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Wide Electrochemical Window Solvents
Typical electrolyte solvents for use in liquid or polymer electrolyte solutions include alkyl ethers and alkene carbonates. These solvents are used to dissolve electrolyte solutes and/or rubberizing polymer additives to form electrolyte solutions which may be used in electrochemical devices. However, these materials have significant disadvantages. Ethers are volatile and have low dielectric constants, while carbonates are unstable around alkali metals and have high melting points.
03/13/2012
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Lithium Ion Conducting Ionic Electrolytes
As mobile electronics continue to evolve, the need for high-output, long-lasting rechargeable batteries has grown tremendously. In the search for suitable materials from which to construct high energy density batteries, one of the principal obstacles has been the provision of a suitable electrolyte that exhibits the right combination of conductivity and ion mobility, stability, and wide electrochemical window. Very few electrolytes have been developed thus far that exhibit the above combination... read more
03/13/2012
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Electrolytes for Lithium Ion Batteries
As mobile electronics continue to evolve, the need for high-output, long-lasting rechargeable batteries has grown tremendously. In the search for suitable materials from which to construct high energy density batteries, one of the principal obstacles has been the provision of a suitable electrolyte that exhibits the right combination of conductivity and ion mobility, stability, and wide electrochemical window. Very few electrolytes have been developed thus far that exhibit the above combination... read more
03/13/2012
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Nanotube composite anode materials improve lithium-ion battery performance (ANL-09-034)

Rechargeable lithium-ion batteries are a critical technology for many applications, including consumer electronics and electric vehicles. As the demand for hybrid and electric vehicles continues to grow, so does the demand for lithium-ion batteries that are safer, more powerful, and less expensive. Scientists at Argonne National Laboratory are leading efforts to revolutionize battery technology with the design and development of new battery materials for electrodes, electrolytes, and... read more

02/07/2012
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Electrode Materials for Rechargeable Li-ion Batteries: a New Synthetic Approach (ANL-IN-10-031)

Since the performance of Li-ion batteries is largely predicated on the cathode performance in the cell, improvements to lower the irreversibility capacity loss on the first cycle, increase the rate capability, and improve structural stability at high voltages in the cathode are needed.  The objective is to synthesize and make new materials to address these issues.  High-energy density Li-ion batteries available in the market today have low power and progressively lose their energy... read more

02/07/2012
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Advanced Carbon Aerogels for Energy Applications

Nanomaterials that are emerging out of cutting edge nanotechnology research are a key component for an energy revolution. Carbon-based nanomaterials are ushering in the “new carbon age” with carbon nanotubes, nanoporous carbons, and graphene nanosheets that will prove necessary to provide sustainable energy applications that lessen our dependence on fossil fuels.

Carbon aerogels (CAs) are nanoporous carbons that comprise a particularly significant class of carbon... read more

02/06/2012
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High-Voltage Insulators and Components

One of the ongoing challenges to improving performance in capacitors and other high-voltage electrical structures is to identify and reduce the factors that cause failure.  High-voltage devices typically fail following excessive partial discharge activity, which is a localized dielectric breakdown that does not transcend the main electrode gap spacing. One type of failure is anticipated to start at a triple junction, the point at which an electrode and two different dielectric materials... read more

02/06/2012
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Multilayer Graphene-Silicon Structures for Lithium Ion Battery Anodes

 A team of Berkeley Lab researchers led by Yuegang Zhang and Liwen Ji has taken a major step toward an improved lithium ion battery with the development of anodes coated with vanishingly thin, alternating layers of graphene and silicon. Tests have shown that Berkeley Lab’s graphene-silicon layers create anodes with a much higher charge capacity than those made of graphite. In addition, the multilayer nanostructure of this easy-to-fabricate design resists the rapid degradation that... read more

01/21/2012
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Lower Cost, Nanoporous Block Copolymer Battery Separator

Although the polyolefin polymer material often used for lithium battery separators costs approximately $1.30/kg, the difficult process used to make it porous, to allow the flow of ions and electrons, raises its cost by two-orders of magnitude, to $120–$240/kg. A Berkeley Lab team led by Nitash Balsara has developed an inexpensive and easily controlled process yielding a nanoporous polymer separator that performs just as well as those made by conventional means.

01/21/2012
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Block Copolymer Cathode Binder to Simultaneously Transport Electronic Charge and Ions

A Berkeley Lab team led by Nitash Balsara has developed a highly efficient lithium ion battery in which a single inactive material—a polymeric binding agent—serves as a binder that holds active cathode materials together and as a two-lane conductor that simultaneously carries lithium ions and electronic charge.

01/21/2012
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Neutron Detection Using an Embedded Sol-Gel Neutron Absorber
ORNL researchers invented a method for neutron detection that can play an important role in international safeguards and U.S. security. The technology, based on sol-gel chemistry, uses metallic oxides embedded in a glass film that fission when bombarded with neutrons, producing a signature event in the film. Using ultraviolet light, fission products of the metallic oxides and electron emissions can be quickly detected.
10/27/2011
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Integrated Used Nuclear Fuel Storage, Transportation, and Disposal Canister System

Researchers at ORNL have developed an integrated system that reduces the total life-cycle cost of used fuel storage while improving overall safety. This multicanister approach provides superior assembly and burnup/damaged fuel capacity. The invention also reduces the need for future repackaging of fuel for transit or storage.

10/25/2011
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Lithium/Sulfur Batteries Based on Doped Mesoporous Carbon
A sulfur/carbon composite material was prepared by heat treatment of doped mesoporous carbon and elemental sulfur at a temperature inside a stainless steel vessel, which was used in lithium/sulfur batteries that were tested in electrolytes.
10/25/2011
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Acidic Ion Exchange Membrane
In this invention we report the synthesis of a copolymer of vinyl phosphonic acid (VPA) and vinyl zirconium phosphorous (VZP) acid has been achieved for the production of ion exchange membranes. 
10/06/2011
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Fiber-Optic Environmental Radiation Dosimeter

All-optical, fiber-optic-coupled remote radiation sensor using NRL’s luminescent, copper-doped quartz material.  The key to the technology is the doped quartz material that produces a luminescence signal that is directly proportional to the radiation dose. Individual sensors have an estimated cost of $50 and a lifespan of decades. The sensor is less than 7 mm in diameter by 10 cm in length and is fiber-optic-coupled to a photodetec-tor that is remotely located away from the... read more

10/06/2011
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Using Ionic Liquids to Make Titanium Dioxide Nanotubes
Since self-organized TiO2 nanotube (NT) arrays were first reported in 1999, there has been increasing research interest due to their comparably larger surface area, chemical stability, biocompatibility and the ability to provide an excellent electron percolation pathway for vectoral charge transfer between interfaces. The most commonly used fabrication method is anodization of titanium metal in aqueous or organic polarized electrolytes baths containing fluoride species such as NH4F, HF, or NaF.... read more
10/04/2011
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Mapping Battery Activity at the Level of a Billionth of a Meter
An ORNL method and apparatus offer a new approach to revealing battery behavior at the nanoscale. With this invention, researchers successfully mapped lithium diffusivity and electrochemical activity, showing how the battery works at the level of a billionth of a meter.

Future energy technologies will rely heavily on lithium-based batteries for electrochemical energy storage. To develop and to optimize battery performance, researchers need to understand how lithium, electron transport, and... read more
10/04/2011
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Carbon Films Produced from Ionic Liquid Precursors
Researchers at ORNL have invented a more effective method of preparing thin carbons films, a material that has become increasing important to the development of energy-saving storage batteries. Using this new method, it is possible to produce a very resilient, thermally stable porous carbon film characterized by a highly ordered arrangement of uniformly sized pores.

Conventional polymer carbon precursors are typically in solid form and must first be dissolved in a solvent. This is a... read more
10/04/2011
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“Brick-and-Mortar” Self-Assembly Approach to Mesoporous Carbon Nanocomposites
Mesoporous carbon materials lack sufficient ordering at the atomic scale to exhibit good conductivity properties and thermal stability. To date, mesoporous carbons having uniform mesopores and high surface areas have been prepared from partially graphitizable precursors in the presence of templates. High-temperature thermal treatments above 2000 C, which are usually required to increase conductivity, result in a partial or total collapse of the mesoporous structures and reduced surface areas... read more
10/04/2011
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Real Space Mapping of Oxygen Vacancy Diffusion and Electrochemical Transformations by Hysteretic Current Reversal Curve Measurements
Electrochemical energy storage and conversion systems based on solid–gas and solid–liquid reactions and local bias-induced transformations are a vital component of future energy and information technologies. Development of high- energy and power-density materials necessitates understanding the nanoscale mechanisms involved in secondary batteries, fuel cell and air-battery operation. These mechanisms include the interplay between interfacial electrochemical reactions, oxygen vacancy... read more
10/04/2011
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Redox Flow Batteries for Grid-scale Energy Storage

Though considered a promising large-scale energy storage device, the real-world deployment of redox flow batteries has been limited by their inability to work well in a wide range of temperatures and their relatively high cost. Historically, the state-of-the-art has been an all-vanadium redox flow battery using a sulfate-based electrolyte.

Researchers at PNNL have developed two novel approaches to redox flow batteries that overcome these barriers and offer superior performance and cost... read more

10/03/2011
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Flywheel Energy Storage Device for Hybrid and Electric Vehicles
This cost-effective technology stores and reuses what would otherwise be wasted energy inside a hybrid electric vehicle engine. The invention, a mechanical flywheel coupled to a rotor inside the engine, stores rotational energy during engine performance, subsequently feeding it back to assist with acceleration and braking.

The device significantly improves fuel efficiency and does not conflict with other energy storage components, such as batteries. No special container is required, as the... read more
09/29/2011
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Method of Production of Pure Hydrogen Near Room Temperature From Ultra High Capacity Hydride Materials

This is a cost-effective method for the production of pure hydrogen gas from ultra high capacity hydride solid materials.

09/22/2011
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Environmental Energy Harvesting

Energy harvesting is a developing technology that seeks to exploit naturally-occurring energy to power systems, rather than relying on external sources such as batteries.  Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory has developed a method and a device for capturing the chemical energy in organic molecules and converting it into electrical energy. Vibration-based conversion has been commercialized to piezoelectric devices, and the LLNL team believes the time right for matrix-assisted energy... read more

07/27/2011
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Advanced Lithium Ion Battery Technologies
Scientists at Berkeley Lab have invented highly conductive polymer binder materials that significantly improve the viability of using silicon as an electrode material in lithium ion batteries. They have also combined lithium metal with the Berkeley Lab conductive binder, plus other materials, to create a hybrid electrode system for use in lithium ion batteries.
07/26/2011
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High Capacity Hydrogen Storage Nanocomposite

Scientists at the Savannah River National Laboratory's (SRNL) Hydrogen Research Center have developed new processes to add metal hydrides to nanocarbon structures to yield high capacity hydrogen storage materials.  Testing of these materials has shown that hyrdogen can be efficiently absorbed and released in multiple cycles and in significant quantities.  Processes to add Lithium Hydride to Fullerenes have resulted in structures that can retain and release significant... read more

06/21/2011
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High-performance Electrochemical Capacitors

A capacitor comprising an anode, cathode, and an electrolyte, wherein the anode, the cathode, or both comprise a composite of porous carbon structure with a coating on the surface of MnO2, and a current collector in electrical contact with the composite

05/23/2011
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Ruthenium on Carbon Nanostructures for Supercapacitor Electrodes

Supercapacitors are electrical storage devices that can deliver a huge amount of energy in a short time. Such a surge of energy is important in hybrid electric and fuel cell-powered vehicles, as well as in a wide range of electronic and engineering applications. Since the energy storage capability and the current carrying capability of supercapacitors are proportional to their capacitance, it is important to have as much surface area as possiblein the electrode. A smooth and conformal... read more

04/29/2011
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Metal-Air Battery
This technology features cathodes for use in open electrochemical cells and devices comprising the cathodes and open electrochemical cells.
04/27/2011
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MEMS Fuel Cells--Low Temp--High Power Density

Rechargeable batteries presently provide limited energy density and cyclical lifetime for portable power applications, with only incremental improvements forecasted in the foreseeable future. Furthermore, recharging requires access to electrical outlets via a tethered charger. The MEMS Fuel Cell represents a disruptive power source technology that can avoid many of these problems. It uses easy-to-store liquid fuels such as methanol and provides more than three times the operating time... read more

04/22/2011
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High Performance Binderless Electrodes for Rechargeable Lithium Batteries

Portable electronic applications including cell phones, laptop computers, as well as electric vehicles or hybrid electric vehicles require dependable rechargeable batteries.  The lithium ion (Li-ion) battery is the preferred source for portable energy storage due to its desirable energy to weight ratio. The materials used in the development of anodes, cathodes and electrolytes are directly responsible for the performance characteristics of Li-ion batteries.  In order to meet... read more

03/31/2011
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Battery Life Estimation (BLE) and Data Analysis

Argonne’s BLE Software is a state-of-the-art analytical tool for predicting cell and battery lifetimes on the basis of limited test data. Because hybrid vehicles are so new to the market, researchers don't have data spanning many years. They need a tool to reliably, quickly and accurately predict battery performance. BLE software can make life-cycle estimates using as little as two years' worth of aging data. With this limited data, researchers can use BLE to estimate how... read more

03/25/2011
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Redox Flow Batteries

The need for large, grid-scale electrochemical storage is being realized as a critical part of integrating large quantities of renewable, intermittent generation into the electrical grid.  PNNL is investigating a number of potential solutions, but the most promising of them is redox flow batteries because of the relatively low cost of scaling them to large capacities.  A redox flow battery is a form of rechargeable battery that can reversibly convert electrical energy into ... read more

03/11/2011
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Platinum-Loading Reduction in PEM Fuel Cells

Platinum, a costly precious metal element, is commonly used in fuel cells to facilitate the split of the hydrogen atom, which enables the membrane within a PEM (proton exchange membrane) fuel cell to generate a charge, and thus generate clean, direct current electricity. In PEM fuel cells, hydrogen at the anode generates electron and protons. The protons migrate through the proton-conducting membrane, and react with reduced oxygen at cathode to create water. Meanwhile, electrons move from... read more

02/08/2011
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Lithium Air Electrodes

With the surge in demand for electric vehicles, automotive suppliers and manufacturers are in a race to find cutting edge technologies that deliver more powerful batteries in smaller packages and lower cost – a challenge that researchers at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory have undertaken and remain committed to solving.

02/08/2011
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Thermoelectric Ambient Energy Harvester

A novel thermoelectric generator (TEG) design by PNNL allows the conversion of ambient thermal energy into electric power for a variety of low-power uses. These miniature TEGs are able to power wireless sensors and their associated radio frequency transmitters used in a wide range of remote monitoring applications including building energy management, automotive component controls, agricultural monitoring, security surveillance, and wildlife management.

01/14/2011
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Hybrid power management system and method
NASA Glenn Research Center (GRC) innovators have developed and patented a unique Hybrid Power Management (HPM) system, integrating diverse power devices in an optimal configuration for space and terrestrial applications. An “ultracapacitor” technology is used to store energy in GRC’s system.
01/04/2011
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Ultrafine Hydrogen Storage Powders
This invention provides for composition and method of making extremely fine powders for storing hydrogen.
12/16/2010
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OLED Deposition Technology

Low-cost processing methods will be required if the small organic molecule materials currently under development for use in organic light-emitting devices (OLEDs) and other electronics are ever to realize widespread commercial application.

12/15/2010
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Ultra-stable Gold Nanocatalysts
Gold is inert in large quantities but exhibits surprisingly high catalytic activity when dispersed as small nanoparticles on selected metal oxides. ORNL researchers successfully deposited and stabilized gold nanoparticles on surfaces of rare earth materials, creating ultra-stable gold nanocatalysts that exhibit unprecedented efficiency in industrial oxidation processes. The bottleneck for commercialization of gold catalysts has been problems with critical stability.
12/15/2010
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New Ionic Liquids with Diverse Properties
Hundreds of new ionic liquids can be synthesized using a method invented by ORNL researchers. This innovation makes it possible to produce ionic liquids and ionic compounds with a variety of tunable chemical properties, and provides ion liquids that are nonvolatile and nonpolluting. These liquids are important in many scientific research and energy applications, including chemical catalysis and in the design of new ultracapacitors.
12/15/2010
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Toughened Graphite Electrode for High Heat Electric Arc Furnaces
A tougher and more resilient graphite electrode was developed at ORNL to melt steel, titanium, and other scrap metal in industrial electric arc furnaces. Researchers invented a carbon fiber-pitch binder composition that is tough enough to avoid recurrent electrode failure in industrial smelting. The technology also reduces the amount of carbon needed in the production process and resolves inefficient dispersion of carbon in current technology.
12/15/2010
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Directional Reactive Power Ground Plane Transmission
ORNL researchers have developed a pioneering power alternative to batteries using directional reactive power. Batteries are currently the primary option for powering mobile electronic equipment; however, batteries are heavy and battery life is limited. Reactive power is the phenomenon that occurs when alternating voltage and current are 90 degrees out-of-phase with respect to time. This phenomenon allows electrical transmission on a single wire without a return path.
12/08/2010
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Solid Lithium Ion Conducting Electrolytes Suitable for Manufacturing Processes
The lithium ion battery found in electronics like cell phones uses liquid electrolytes associated with shorter battery life; this material is also a safety hazard if it is overheated or overcharged. Batteries with solid lithium ion conducting electrolytes would overcome these limitations, but they have insufficient power to meet device energy requirements at a reasonable cost. Researchers at ORNL invented a method for synthesizing materials from solid state reactions that resolves some of these... read more
12/08/2010
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Glass Capacitor for High-Temperature Applications
To meet the demand for smaller, lighter capacitors that have high energy densities, an ORNL researcher developed a capacitor made of glass rods that is constructed like insulated wire. This device can be used for power factor correction, high-voltage capacitors, power electronic filters, energy storage, and components in electric and hybrid-electric vehicles.
12/08/2010
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Clad Fiber Capacitor and Fabrication Method
Using glass and high performance polymer technology, an ORNL researcher developed a method for producing energy storage capacitors with high power density and the ability to operate at high temperatures. Conventional capacitors have low power densities and are limited to low temperature operations.
12/08/2010
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Atomic Layer Deposition (ALD) Preparation of Noble Metal Catalysts
Organic pollutants in wastewater streams and volatile organic compounds in the atmosphere have been increasing over the recent decades. Currently, semiconductor photocatalysts such as Titanium Oxide (TiO2), are used to minimize the effects of environmental pollution by detoxifying harmful organic materials. These photocatalysts are activated by UV light and break bonds in the contaminant to make it non-toxic. TiO2 provides many benefits in use, as it is low cost, non-toxic, and has the ability... read more
12/06/2010
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Method to Reduce Camber in Anode-Supported SOFCs

Thermal expansion differences between the porous anode/active anode and dense electrolyte in an anode supported solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) result in a camber (out of plane deflection) after high-temperature heat treatments. Researchers at PNNL have devised two methods to reduce the camber by applying a symmetrical thermal expansion design to the planar cell assembly.

09/23/2010
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Non-Cross-Linked Gel Polymer Electrolytes for Lithium Ion Batteries
Berkeley Lab scientists have invented nanostructured gel polymer electrolytes for lithium ion batteries. The electrolytes have high ionic conductivity, high mechanical strength, and they can be easily and affordably processed for lithium ion batteries.
08/20/2010
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Battery Life Predictive Model

Batteries are one of the leading cost drivers of any electric vehicle project. Current practices require that batteries be oversized by design in order to meet the battery warrantee’s end-of-life (EOL) power and energy requirements. This quickly increases the cost of electric vehicles and can price them out of the realm of consideration for most users. NREL scientists have developed a software model that analyzes the performance of batteries over a lifetime of use in real world... read more

08/03/2010
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High Power Performance Lithium Ion Battery
Gao Liu and colleagues at Berkeley Lab have increased the power performance of lithium ion batteries by over 20 percent by optimizing the ratio of polymer binder to conductive additive (acetylene black) in the cathode. The new electrode compositions also significantly improve mechanical resilience and promise longer cycling lifetimes.
07/28/2010
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Lithium-Ion Batteries

Design. Build. Test. Break. Repeat. Developing batteries is an expensive and time-intensive process. Testing costs the automotive industry an estimated $1 million for every 50 battery cycling channels, with additional costs for designing and building prototypes totaling millions of dollars. To reduce this process and associated costs, scientists at NREL have designed computer models to predict thermal, electrical, and electrochemical battery performance. These models are so advanced they can... read more

07/28/2010
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High Conductivity Single-ion Cross-linked Polymers for Lithium Batteries and Fuel Cells
John Kerr and co-workers at Berkeley Lab have developed single-ion cross-linked comb-branched polymer electrolytes with high conductivity for use as membranes in lithium batteries, fuel cells, and electrochromic windows. Solid polymer electrolyte separators are used in lithium batteries instead of common organic solvents because (1) they are non-volatile, (2) they inhibit the growth of dendrites, the tiny metallic snowflake structures in lithium metal electrodes that lead to battery failure,... read more
07/28/2010
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Graphitized Conductive Carbon Coatings for Composite Electrodes
Robert Kostecki and Marek Marcinek of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have developed a method to improve the performance and operational life of composite electrodes by direct deposition of a continuous, uniform film of graphitic carbon coating on the active materials.
07/28/2010
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Ceramic-Metal Composites for Electrodes of Lithium Ion Batteries
Lithium’s high energy density makes it desirable for use in rechargeable batteries, but its tendency to form dendrites has limited its use to primary batteries. This limitation can be addressed by using alloys, but their sticky consistency has proved an obstacle to manufacturing.
06/23/2010
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Self-Regulating, Nonflamable Rechargeable Lithium Batteries
Rechargeable lithium batteries are superior to other rechargeable batteries due to their ability to store more energy per unit size and weight and to operate at higher voltages. The performance of lithium ion batteries available today, however, has been compromised by their tendency to overheat during operation. This condition, called “thermal runaway,” can melt the battery’s lithium metal and, in the most serious cases, result in explosive chemical reactions.
06/23/2010
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Nanocomposite Carbon/Tin Anodes for Lithium Ion Batteries
An approach developed by Robert Kostecki and Marek Marcinek of Berkeley Lab has given rise to a new generation of nanostructured carbon-tin films that can be produced quickly, efficiently, and inexpensively. These binderless carbon/tin thin-film anodes provide enhanced charge capacity and excellent cycleability in lithium ion battery systems compared with lithium ion anodes currently on the market.
06/23/2010
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Material Independent Design of Photoluminescent Systems Based on Alignment of Polar Molecules in Charged Surface
A design and method to produce new forms of photoluminescent (PL) matter (whose constituent materials need not be photoluminescent) to form materials useful in bio-imaging, energy storage, composite materials, etc. Non-luminescent particles can be transformed into PL materials with this methodology.
02/03/2010
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Mega-Pore Nano-Structured Carbon
Current supercapacitor technologies cannot meet the growing demands for high-power energy storage. Meeting this challenge requires the development of new electrode materials.
02/02/2010